Exilia Miss secured her sixth career win when she pipped favourite Niccobelle at the post to claim the 2018 Guyra Cup.
The Stirling Osland-trained mare held back early as Niccobelle rocketed out of the gates to set the pace.
Coming into the straight, the four-year-old mare was second from the back before jockey Josh Oliver pulled her wide and made his move.
As they hit the line, Exilia Miss poked her nose in front of Niccobelle for the win with Walcha-trained Loud Enough in third.
“Obviously she had a very strong speed up front with the favourite Niccobelle and it probably played in her hand a bit,” Osland said.
“Everything got off a bit early, travelling early and her coming back in trip from the 2100m to the 1400m probably helped her be strong through the line, and low on weight.”
Sunday’s race at the Armidale track was Exilia Miss’ third win in her last four starts – with a second in her previous race.
It also marked her third win on her home track.
“She has a good turn of foot and runs well here in Armidale – I think the best race she runs is here at home,” Osland said.
The win was Oliver’s second of the day after he took out the 1100m Class 1 Handicap aboard Craig Martin’s Vineyard.
The Guyra Cup may not have made its way up the hill this year but Paul Grills’ Primal Touch ensured the town had something to cheer about when he surged home in the 1900m Class 1 and Maiden Plate for a 10-length win.
The day’s races opened with Jane Clement’s Tango Time winning the 1300m Maiden Plate.
Scone trainer Stephen Jones claimed a win in the 1100m Maiden Handicap with Rose of Eastbourne.
Lawan landed a first place for Coffs Harbour trainer Jim Jarvis in the 1400m Class 2 Handicap while Iwatani rounded out the day’s winners for Mark Hatch in the 1100m Benchmark 64 Handicap.